3 Cities Making Downtowns Safe from Vehicle Attacks

3 Cities Making Downtowns Safe from Vehicle Attacks by Laura Bliss - Defense One

How do you stop a terrorist, a crazy person, or just a rage-filled asshole in a commercial vehicle from ramming into a sea of people ? Don’t bother: According to the Los Angeles Times, it’s near impossible.

“New York truck attack was predictable, just not preventable,” reads the headline of an article from Tuesday outlining the challenges of identifying malevolent intent among truck renters, after a driver plowed into a crowded Manhattan bike path on Tuesday, killing eight people.

“If somebody has a valid driver’s license and they’re not on any kind of watch list, it is very, very difficult to prevent them from renting a vehicle and conducting a lone wolf attack,’’ said Jake Jacoby, president of the Truck Renting and Leasing Association.

But hang on, that doesn’t make events like Tuesday’s inevitable. The article briefly acknowledges the protective role that bollards—those hitherto unsung heavyweight stanchions—can play in stopping vehicles should they try to invade pedestrian space. But nowhere does it consider the possibility that cars should be banned in areas where driving can inflict this much harm, as advocates, policy analysts, and journalists (including myself) have suggested…

Read on.

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